Orionid Meteor Shower

orionid meteor showerThe best time for viewing for these fast? -streaking Orionid meteors will be between midnight (1 a.m. daylight time) and dawn on the mornings of October 20, 21 and 22, 2013. That time holds true no matter what time zone you’re in. If you’re in Asia, you might want to lean a bit toward the morning of October 22. In 2013, you can’t expect to see much because bright moonlight will interfere. But you might, indeed, see a very bright meteor streaking along in bright moonlight.

Where is the radiant point for the Orionid meteor shower? The radiant point for the Orionids is in the northern part of Orion, near Orion’s club. Many see the Hunter as a large rectangle. You’ll surely notice its distinctive row of three medium-bright stars in the middle: those stars represent Orion’s Belt. The brightest star in the sky, Sirius, is to the southwest of Orion on the sky’s dome, and the Belt stars always point to Sirius. This constellation is up in the southeast in the hours after midnight and it’s high in the south before dawn. We will have much more to say about Orion in the months to come, because it’s one of winter’s most prominent constellations.

Do you need to know Orion to see the meteors? Nah. The meteors appear in all parts of the sky. But if you trace the paths of the meteors backwards, you’ll see they all seem to come from single point within Orion. The radiant point for the Orionids is above and outside Orion’s rectangle. But – again – you don’t need to identify exactly where the radiant is to enjoy the meteors, or Orion! Just go to a dark sky and look up.

What is the origin of the Orionid meteors? Earth crosses the orbit of the famous Comet Halley every year in October. The meteors are debris from this comet that enter Earth’s atmosphere and vaporize as they fall.

source info: Earth Sky


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